Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

4.3 56
Director: Franco Zeffirelli

Cast: Franco Zeffirelli, Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting, Milo O'Shea


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Director Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was touted at the time of its release (successfully, if the box-office receipts are any indication), as something of a "youth trip" movie. This is because Zeffirelli broke the long-standing tradition of casting over-aged, sometimes grey-haired players in the title roles.


Director Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was touted at the time of its release (successfully, if the box-office receipts are any indication), as something of a "youth trip" movie. This is because Zeffirelli broke the long-standing tradition of casting over-aged, sometimes grey-haired players in the title roles. Seventeen-year-old Leonard Whiting plays Romeo, with 15-year-old Olivia Hussey as Juliet. The youthfulness and inexperience of the leading players works beautifully in the more passionate sequences (some of these breaking further ground by being played in the nude). Among the younger players are Michael York as Tybalt and John McEnery as Mercutio. The duel between Romeo and Tybalt starts out as a harmless, frat-boy exchange of insults, then escalates into tragedy before any of the participants are fully aware of what has happened. Photographed by Pasqualino DeSantis on various locations in Italy, Romeo and Juliet was one of the most profitable film adaptations of Shakespeare ever produced. Its most lasting legacy is its popular main theme music, composed by Nino Rota.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
The unrepentant romanticism of Franco Zefferelli's Romeo and Juliet works beautifully in translating William Shakespeare's tragic drama to the silver screen. The lyrical score of Academy Award-winner Nino Rota (The Godfather) and the voluptuous and magnificent period costumes by Danilo Donati combine with the sensuous and dusty cinematography of Pasqualino De Santis to evoke the Italian renaissance setting perfectly. Ever the traditionalist, Zefferelli took a consistently conventional approach to the production, with his only really daring move coming in the casting. For the first time in film, two teenage actors portray Shakespeare's tragic protagonists, and the employment of a cast rife with unknowns results in the film being a triumph of spirit and enthusiasm over technique. Simply put, neither Olivia Hussey as Juliet, nor Leonard Whiting as Romeo, are very skilled actors: Shakespeare's words are often garbled, and the actors' intonations are occasionally inappropriate. Still, Zefferelli manages to overcome his young star's lapses (their considerable physical charms help as well), not to mention the coincidence-filled and hole-ridden plot, to offer a film of great beauty, abundant energy, and deep sorrow. Furthermore, the desperate romanticism of the titular characters' final actions taps into adolescent society's deeply rooted rebelliousness that was finding popular expression at the time. Nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Director and Best Picture), Romeo and Juliet was the winner of two, for Cinematography and Costume Design.

Product Details

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Paramount Catalog
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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Olivia Hussey Juliet
Leonard Whiting Romeo
Milo O'Shea Friar Laurence
Michael York Tybalt
John McEnery Mercutio
Pat Heywood The Nurse
Natasha Parry Lady Capulet
Robert Stephens Prince Of Verona
Keith Skinner Balthazar
Richard Warwick Gregory
Dyson Lovell Sampson
Ugo Barbone Abraham
Bruce Robinson Benvolio
Paul Hardwick Lord Capulet
Antonio Pierfederici Lord Montague
Esmeralda Ruspoli Lady Montague
Roberto Bisacco Count Paris
Roy Holder Peter
Aldo Miranda Friar John
Dario Tanzini Page to Tybalt
Roberto Antonelli Actor
Carlo Palmucci Actor
Murray Head The Chorus
Laurence Olivier Narrator of Prologue

Technical Credits
Franco Zeffirelli Director,Screenwriter
John Brabourne Producer
Franco Brusati Screenwriter
Masolino D'Amico Screenwriter
Pasqualino De Santis Cinematographer
Danilo Donati Costumes/Costume Designer
Christine Edzard Set Decoration/Design
Richard Goodwin Associate Producer
Anthony Havelock-Allan Producer
Henry Mancini Songwriter
Reginald Mills Editor
Lorenzo Mongiardino Production Designer
Luciano Puccini Art Director
Nino Rota Score Composer
Eugen Walter Songwriter

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Scene Selection
1. Houses Of Dignity [8:27]
2. Sad Hours [3:53]
3. A Mother's Desire [1:27]
4. Talk Of Dreams [3:10]
5. Beauty [5:51]
6. Love Sprung From Hate [5:03]
7. Sweet Goodnight [2:50]
8. Friar Consents [8:05]
9. "Commend me to thy lady!" [1:33]
10. Impatience [11:18]
11. A Life For A Life [1:38]
12. Price Of Blood [3:28]
13. The Lark Sings [:09]
14. So Worthy A Gentleman [1:30]
15. Desperate Deception [6:15]
16. Lover's Farewell [1:15]
17. A Gloomy Peace [4:52]
18. End Credits [12:41]


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Romeo & Juliet 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a fan of this movie when it first came out in 1968. I was only 14 at the time. No matter how many countless films I have seen over the years, this film has remained my all-time favorite movie! Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey are perfect in the starring roles. Michael York's performance as Tybalt is powerful, and John McEnery's Mercutio is unforgettable. This is a film both you and your children can enjoy together. It's a great introduction to Shakespeare.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my 9th grade English class, we read the original play ''Romeo and Juliet.'' While I enjoyed it greatly, it was not until I saw Franco Zeffirelli's film version that everything came to life. This movie has a unique quality about it that makes it different than any other film that I have ever seen. Usually in pictures, and other film versions, Romeo and Juliet are shown as adults, even though they are written as teenagers in the play (Juliet is only 13, about to be 14). Seeing Olivia Hussey, age 15, and Leonard Whiting, age 17, play these roles made the story more real to me. It showed that love has no limits or restrictions, including age, and I think that is one of the themes Shakespeare was trying to convey. I am 14, close to Juliet's age in the story, and could not imagine anyone my age experiencing what Juliet did until I saw this film. Every single scene was so touching and emotional, I felt as though I was in Verona, watching all the action first-hand. This movie is the best example I can think of to illustrate why Shakespeare is still being read and preformed today- because the themes are timeless. I hope everyone has the oppertunity to see this film and have the same experience that I did. Hopefully, it will change your ideas about Shakespeare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ChandlerSwain More than 1 year ago
Colorful costuming and a tuneful Nino Rota score is no substitute for the Bard being performed capably. With a few minor exceptions the line readings are embarrassing, the greatest offenders being the lead duo Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting. Michael York, at least, displays some bravura, but Zeffirelli's film is ultimately a silly rendition of the most overrated of Shakespeare's works.
Ryan5 More than 1 year ago
We were reading this in my 9th grade class for high school, and I enjoyed it greatly. If someone asked me if i would want to read it again, I would say yes. I found this book very interesting because it shows they way people were back then and the style of writing was used.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
goodgirl2 More than 1 year ago
this one was nice better than the new one so romantic and yet so sweet a true love story!
Susam00 More than 1 year ago
This movie is one of my top favorites. I will never get tired of this film, I love how it just brings the play to life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great!!!! best R+J movie done
Guest More than 1 year ago
When we had to watch this version for my 8th grade Shakespeare class, I thought it was going to be boring since it was old. I was very wrong. It was awesome!!! Our teacher wanted us to read along while watching it to understand it better. I'm 14 and close to Juliet's age, which makes the story more understandable. I think that this is an awesome movie that everyone should watch!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was excellent. Being a 16 year old I need something entertaining and exciting, and I loved this movie. The first day I watched the move in class I drove to B&B and got the dvd I liked it so much, the music is great, the actors and actress are great, especially Olivia Hussey, who did an Emmy Winning job as the stronger character in the timeless love story, throughout the movie Juliet shows that she can overcome everything, and she cuts to the chase-unlike poetic and handsome Leonard Whiting who also was good. The death scene of the lovers was excellent and well scripted, the director was great and the movie is my all time favorite. Its easy to follow and understand also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think it is the most extraordinary movie ever made about this beautiful story. Franco Zefirelli does a great job finding such talentous cast. I think it is the best Romero & Juliet I have ever seen! And the music, it is just incredible!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to watch this adaptation of romeo and juliet for my ninth grade class shakespeare unit. I Thought it would be boring and hard to understand, but both the actual play and this movie were both incredibly beautiful, moving, and easy to follow! The casting was wonderful, and the beautifuly youthful olivia hussey did a wonderful job as juliet. This is a play that I will never forget, and really made me think about love in a whole new persepective on life, and love, and how sacred love is. They were so young but they knew that without each other, life wasn't worth living. This was such a memorable movie, and I intend to purchase it for my own collection someday.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The old version of Romeo and Juliet is excellent. Since I am a big fan of Romeo and Juliet, I recently recorded it and see the movie with my boyfriend. We are young just like Romeo and Juliet. When the movie is over, me and my boyfriend acts like Romeo and Juliet. Thanks William Shakespeare. You Rock!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! This movie was wonderful. It was the best Romeo and Juliet I've ever seen. Way better than the Leonardo DiCaprio one. There was so much feeling put into it and I think the actors did a fantastic job. I watched this video in school when we were studing ''Romeo and Juliet'' and it was just so excellant that I had to go home and buy it for myself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Romeo and Juliet is an awesome play, and this movie does the play justice. Plus, Leonard Whiting is hot in this movie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In my yr 10 english class we are doing R&J as an essay. Ifound zeffs version of the play extreemly boring. i know you will b sayn that youth today dont know a good flim when they see one but this is just boring. There is no exitment at all! and to top it off they are using young children to play the parts and show the top half of the girl naked! i find this offensive and should not be shown as the girl is underage!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought the movie was great. I think the actors did a very good job in expressing the feelings of the characters. I also would like to point out how good Leonard Whiting looked in this movie. For these reasons I am now researching as much information as I can on the movie and am planning on buying it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this in the theater when it came out & it is not to be missed! This film makes Shakespeare come alive, even for a teenager. It helps if one has to study the play in school.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was so good that i came home after we watched it in class and i just had to have it. The actors were so into there roles that i actually began to imagine them as the real Romeo and Juliet. And the actor who played Romeo was very hot so that kept my attention even more. It is the best version of Romeo and Juliet ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that this movie was awsome!! I liked Friar Lawrence the best because he was wise, intelligent and wity. The music was excellent, also the Latin song at Juliet's funeral was beautiul!!! The Perfect Movie!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The four leads were superb. With period costumes, and Shakespearian English, this is as close as you are likely to get to the Globe Theatre in London while watching a movie. The scenery, all done in Italian streets and buildings, is kin to taking a tour of Italy. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the story when read the book. The movie brought it to reality. The potrayal in Romeo and Juliet by the characters even made it more real. Shakespeare in general has boosted my language prowess. I have read a lot of Shakespeare's works. I enjoy his sonnets. I thought I would become a literature teacher some day but that changed. I am a programmer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie wuz awesome in comparison 2 some other versions. Whoever said that new movies were better were wrong! the characters were way into their parts, especially when it came 2 kissing 4 some reason. that's the 1 reason i rated it a star low. if you've read Shakespear's play as many times as i have you'd know that Juliet wished 2 be virtuous & accepted a few kisses just not as many as those. Juliet is portrayed by a wonderful actress however as is Romeo w/ the actor, must comment that even though they're probably around 50-something now Romeo is pretty hot.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best version of Romeo and Juliet. The other two versions were not so good. When I begun to read the book i thought it was pretty good the movie was really close to all the details. But Romeo however did spend a lot of his time in trees!